7 days ago
7 days ago
Tracy joins Ben this week to converse about the word role! From jobs, to theatre, to games, the word role plays important… um… role in our day to day lives. However, these two love games, so this conversation revolves mostly around tabletop games and RPGs. Discussion topics include: acting, the now defunct Pathfinder Adventure Card Game (by Paizo), Betrayal at House on the Hill (2004 Avalon Hill / 2010 Hasbro), Among Us, going to conventions, the new game Stray, and Disco Elysium. 00:02:20 - The word is role (not roll), NQ, and “what’s the deal with all the hats?”00:06:22 - Tracy’s acting experiences, and Ben’s missed extra opportunity 00:10:31 - We know no French, the origin of role, and manual vs computer assisted games00:13:07 - Tracy’s experiences playing the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game remotely00:18:29 - How much actual playing a role is involved in Pathfinder?00:21:15 - The battle axe, the inclusive nature of some games, and rescuing Kevin00:25:59 - What is the “replay value” of the Pathfinder ACG?00:29:22 - “Closing the Wound of the World,” and how much strategy is involved00:33:02 - The board game Betrayal at House on the Hill and its similarities to Among Us 00:37:41 - Finding new board games on Boing Boing, and Ben’s memories of Games magazine00:39:44 - The Penny Arcade Expo, conventions, and gaming in a “post-pandemic” world00:45:50 - Ben’s playing the role of a cat helping a robot, and Tracy says, “SIGN ME UP!”00:49:29 - Tracy talks enthusiastically about her Disco Elysium play through00:55:16 - Why is Ben having trouble immersing himself in the world of Disco Elysium?00:57:32 - Tracy has an excellent suggestion… focus on the “redemption arc”01:02:29 - Tracy’s final thoughts on the word role, and Ben has one last question for her01:05:21 - Tracy’s answer reminds Ben of some interesting Disco Elysium history01:09:18 - Mapping the old fashioned way, and closing with Ben’s old D&D pickup line
Thursday Jul 28, 2022
Thursday Jul 28, 2022
This week John joins Ben to talk about the importance of the word cooperation in two of his hobbies. John talks about his college experience so far, playing lacrosse, and precision first-person shooters. For once Ben tries to keep up, asking John questions about a sport (lacrosse) and a game (Riot Games’ Valorant) he’s not very familiar with. 00:00:40 - Thoughts on cooperation, and learning “the power of friendship”00:03:20 - Group projects, John’s humble brag, and Ben’s college experience00:08:35 - Going to High School and College during a pandemic 00:11:04 - Ben’s work environment email pro tip… READ RECEIPTS!00:13:25 - “Many hands make light work,” and John explains the intricacies of lacrosse 00:18:44 - John’s relation to Casey Powell ( caseypowell.com )00:20:50 - Ben has more questions for John about cooperation in team sports00:24:17 - Differences between Club and NCAA Division teams in college00:28:35 - John’s previous and current PC game obsessions, CSGO and Valorant00:33:21 - Player rankings in CSGO, the Elo rating system in Valorant, and blunders00:39:10 - How Elo ratings in Valorant promote teamwork, and SOCCER CARS!00:42:32 - Exploring why John prefers team based FPSs to “Battle Royale” games00:44:50 - How Riot Games maintains a healthy gameplay environment… bans!00:47:05 - PVE vs PVP games, Competitive mode, and Valorant agent roles00:54:18 - Discussing effective Valorant agent power combinations00:56:10 - Duelist Raze’s floating knives, and buying guns each round01:02:15 - Spray patterns and how they behave in CSGO vs Valorant01:07:07 - John clears up Ben’s misconception about gaming rigs01:09:25 - Wise parting words about cooperation
Wednesday Jul 20, 2022
Wednesday Jul 20, 2022
Norah joins Ben this week to talk about the bodily fluid responsible for oxygen transport to and from the heart. They each have research to present on the components that make up blood, blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood types. After those “lectures,” Ben talks about blood type bias in Japan and why blood types appear in old arcade game character bios. He then moves on to describing the game Code Vein which turns in to a very bold statement about why Elden Ring should not win GOTY 2022. 00:00:53 - “Not much to do in Tucson…” and “blood, let’s get into it!”00:03:00 - Some common phrases involving the word blood00:04:01 - “Blood from a stone” vs. “Blood from a turnip”00:05:40 - Ben’s tepid take on puns, and other “bad humor”00:07:21 - Caviar, another pun, and Norah and Ben haven’t heard of “blood and thunder” 00:09:49 - “Blood brother” rituals aren’t sanitary, and facts about fainting at the sight of blood00:12:39 - Donating blood to the American Red Cross (listed as Vampires in Ben’s phone)00:15:00 - Bone marrow; Norah explains blood pressure (measured in millimeters of mercury)00:20:26 - Salt vs. sugar, and the components of blood 00:21:31 - Plasma is a heterogeneous mixture; a colloid is a homogeneous noncrystalline substance consisting of large molecules of one substance dispersed through another. 00:23:20 - The negative logarithm of the molar concentration of Hydrogen ions in a solution00:24:32 - Erythrocytes, leukocytes, and thrombocytes… “oh my!”00:27:29 - Norah announces her lipid panel, and then moves on to explaining blood sugar 00:31:33 - An aside about frozen deserts 00:34:15 - A simple sugar may be a mono- or disaccharide. Monosaccharides are the simplest carbs; the body cannot break them down further. Disaccharides consist of two sugar molecules (two monosaccharides) bonded together. The body must break the bond apart (in to two monosaccharides) before they can be absorbed. 00:42:32 - Ben explains the ABO and the Rh blood group systems00:46:25 - Ben talks a little about Type O Negative and the origin of their band name00:49:05 - Why is blood type included in the character bios of old arcade games?00:52:58 - Using the website Tofugu for learning Japanese language and culture. 00:55:49 - What are Norah and Ben’s personalities based solely on their blood type? 00:59:07 - The blood type “descriptive words” are too vague for Two Vague01:01:21 - Kitty White’s blood type, and Hello Kitty blood type identification straps01:03:48 - Vampires, and Ben explains the story of the game Code Vein01:07:30 - Ben tries to explain From Software’s “souls-like” games to Norah01:10:54 - Code Vein has been described as “souls-like,” but Ben doesn’t find it too difficult01:13:45 - Ben’s Elden Ring 2022 GOTY hot take01:16:21 - Ben thinks Eric won’t sick him, and Norah thinks it was a “bloody good” show
Monday Jul 11, 2022
Monday Jul 11, 2022
Norah joins Ben this week to talk about the word pin! It’s a fastener! It’s a connector! It’s a target! It holds things in place! Is there anything “pin” can’t do? Topics include: chess, pin phrases, bowling, punk rock, pin collections, pinball, laserdisc games, and the TWEWY franchise 00:01:06 - Seasonal fruits, fascinating cloth, plugs, and sockets00:04:39 - The word pin in chess, Adam the chess oracle, and playing games with the family00:08:45 - Ben wins toilet paper at church, a Venn diagram, and a paper of pins00:11:45 - Personal Identification Numbers, pin cushions, and Montague Redgrave 00:14:43 - Norah explains what is a pin table is, and discussing tactile interactions in games00:17:03 - Ben almost gets a 300 in bowling club, and grandma beats Tom and Norah00:19:50 - The bowling congress, don’t stab your baby, and the safety pin00:22:43 - Ben talks about punk rock, the song “Needles and Pins,” and “slacktivism”00:26:40 - Holding hats and hair with pins, and getting pinned by your partner in college 00:29:37 - Collecting pins at PAX, the value of Disney pins, and pinup girls00:33:50 - The social media pinning mistake, and why are they called rolling pins?00:36:40 - Quiet enough to hear a (rolling) pin drop, pinstriped things, and pinwheels 00:38:45 - Pin the tail on the donkey, and the pinhole camera00:42:10 - Why it’s called pinball, and playing pinball video games for nostalgic purposes 00:48:08 - A video game stretch from Norah, and Ben’s PopCap beta testing experiences 00:50:37 - The Lupin the 3rd connection to the laserdisc game Cliffhanger 00:55:20 - The World Ends With You, the Nintendo DS, NEO: TWEWY, and “80s pins”01:00:40 - Neku learns the power of friendship, and Sho Minamimoto uses many math quotes01:04:47 - Not a breakfast from Denny’s, the noise, TGI Fridays, and Tower Records 01:08:59 - Closing the show with an uncomfortable phrase from Norah
Wednesday Jun 29, 2022
Wednesday Jun 29, 2022
This week hosts Ben and Norah are talking about the word roll. As a verb and as a noun it conjures up a wide variety of phrases and concepts. Along with the conversational riffing, additional topics include: ball bearings, inline skates, some mild Physics, RollerGames, and the 1975 movie Rollerball. Then it’s on to video games! Ben talks about Roller Champions, Mega Man, Katamari Damacy, and Bouldy from Hades. 00:00:21 - A belated Happy Birthday to the 2VP, and Ben and Norah get the show rollin’00:02:23 - The Ann Sather incident of every time Norah goes, and cinnamon rolls00:04:19 - Number 2 on the “Norah roll list…” rock n’ roll!00:06:07 - “I guess it depends on the baby,” and Ben thinks about “rolling” baby Hitler00:08:34 - A lost opportunity to start the show with the Rawhide theme song00:10:45 - MythBusters tests the saying “a rolling stone gathers no moss” 00:13:05 - “Honor roll” vs. “on a roll,” rollover investments, roll over Beethoven, etc.00:15:47 - The key part of the “muffin top,” rolls of food, and almonds?00:18:29 - The “Rolling with the punches” philosophy of life, and more food.00:20:56 - Roller skates, inline skates, skateboards, and ball bearings00:22:53 - The coefficients of sliding, static friction (angle of repose) and more on ball bearings00:26:48 - Ben’s inline skates, age appropriate exercise, and watching roller derby00:29:45 - Ben remembers the only season of RollerGames, and licensed arcade machines00:33:31 - Learning about the 1975 movie Rollerball, and “…don’t watch the 2002 version!” 00:39:38 - Ben talks about the new Roller Champions game from Ubisoft00:43:34 - Explaining “soccer cars” to Norah00:45:59 - The first Mega Man (Rockman) game, and Ben actually knows it’s Wily not Willy 00:51:23 - Ben talks about Katamari Damacy, one of his favorite games 00:58:20 - It’s actually Sisyphean, but Ben and Norah like “Sisyphus-ian” more01:01:08 - Closing the show… “STEAMROLLER!”
Monday Jun 20, 2022
Monday Jun 20, 2022
It wasn’t the original plan, but Ben convinced the infamous Aunt Norah to co-host with him this week! One could say it was “in the stars” so to speak. In the Venn diagram of the universe stars are celestial bodies and our word is a celestial body, but our word is not a star. Ben and Norah delve in to all of the things they can think of that relate to the word moon: common sayings, urban legends, movies, music, comic books, NASA, and video games. 00:02:05 - Starting the moon conversation with some measurements00:05:35 - Unbeknownst to her, Norah is actually thinking of Whoopie Pies not Moon Pies00:08:13 - “We don’t keep score here at the Two Vague Podcast,” and moon the verb00:11:00 - Is “moon face” insulting and what is anchor spleen?00:13:00 - The moon movies “A Trip to the Moon” and “Outland”00:17:30 - Did Norah watch the moon landing on television?00:19:50 - Watching the Wizard of Oz while listening to Dark Side of the Moon00:22:54 - Alan Parson’s complete load of eye wash, and the Eye in the Sky album00:26:15 - Jamiroquai, Titan AE, and Everybody’s Going to the Moon00:30:30 - The word honeymoon, and this month’s Strawberry Supermoon00:36:50 - The Artemis program, and Space Force on Netflix00:41:10 - Ben talks about the Disney + series Moon Knight, and Dissociative Identity Disorder 00:48:05 - The arcade game Moon Patrol was the first game to use parallax scrolling 00:50:25 - Facts about Ben’s favorite “angel killing witch wearing a suit of her own hair” game 00:55:20 - Ben loves Grasshopper Manufacture and Suda51 games00:59:46 - Killer is Dead, malice, soft boiled eggs, and the Bryan Execution Firm 01:04:10 - Final thoughts on the moon, and “if the moon were made of cheese?
Monday Jun 06, 2022
Monday Jun 06, 2022
This week Ben talks about his vehicular troubles, supplemental show ideas, the Paramount+ shows he’s been watching, and his preliminary experiences with Far Cry 6. He also does a “dramatic” reading of the iconic Star Trek opening monologue. 00:00:30 - Not an apology and Ben’s vehicle issues00:03:00 - The soliloquy experiment, getting Paramount +, CSI, and Star Trek00:09:10 - Ben takes a crack at the Star Trek opening monologue, and Far Cry 600:12:03 - Boars, dingos, eagles, rhinos, and mongooses… ATTACK!00:14:41 - Closing the show with a thank you.
Sunday May 29, 2022
Sunday May 29, 2022
Aspiring actor (and top notch barista) Ryan joins Ben to talk about the word comic. Ben is going super-old school with his trivia and references, and Ryan tries to keep up. They discuss their favorite stand-up comedians, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ( mild spoilers 16:02 - 39:02 ), their favorite comic themed video games, and what comic book characters they would make a game about if they could. 00:00:45 - “Is it safe,” Ryan doesn’t like the word soccer, and the origin of the word comic00:03:27 - Norm Macdonald, “not a sponsor,” 180 people, and comedians in cars00:08:03 - Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Burr’s blood pressure, and does Ben sound like Ray Romano?00:10:08 - Ryan reveals what he enjoyed about hosting a comedy show00:16:02 - Ben’s favorite stand-up comedians starting with Jake Johannsen00:19:45 - Taylor Tomlinson’s comedy special focusing on her mental health00:21:39 - A spoiler-ish discussion about Doctor Strange 2, comics, and the MCU00:25:59 - Universe 199,999, the Illuminati sequence, and Ben’s plot hole questions 00:30:35 - Ben’s concerns about Brian Michael Bendis’ impact on the future of the MCU00:33:30 - Will the multiverse in the MCU result in more lazy script writing? 00:39:02 - A brief history of the Unknown Comic00:42:42 - Ryan still loves the Batman: Arkham and the Marvel Ultimate Alliance franchises00:46:23 - Accolade’s Comics on the C64 and Comix Zone on the Sega Genesis 00:49:15 - Sam & Max Hit the Road by Lucasarts and Cadillacs & Dinosaurs by Capcom00:51:00 - Ryan asks, “If you could make a video game from a comic, what would it be?”00:53:08 - Thoughts on the cel shading art style in video games.00:55:03 - Ben is playing NEO:TWEWY, Ryan’s Superman game story, and closing the show
Sunday May 22, 2022
Sunday May 22, 2022
It’s Mental Health Awareness Month and Rusty (perhaps the most positive person on planet Earth) joins Ben on the podcast to discuss a word that he feels is important to develop in life… resilience. Ben has conducted extensive research on the psychology of being resilient, the Google Ngram Viewer, and a mobile game designer who created an application to help her “slay her concussion.” Meanwhile, Rusty shares his secrets to a positive attitude and his enjoyment of the Horizon franchise. 00:00:54 - Why did Rusty pick the word resilience?00:03:40 - Be the captain of your own ship, maintain your morale, and try not to get distracted 00:07:03 - Ben tries to imagine “angry Rusty,” and then to explain Google’s Ngram viewer 00:10:15 - Increased usage of the word resilience, and back to a glossary of n-gram terms00:14:03 - Rusty responds to Ron Breazeale’s “11 skills/attitudes that can increase resilience" 00:22:34 - Video game characters finding their own resiliences, and Horizon’s Aloy 00:27:03 - Venting about the loss of a special character in Forbidden West00:29:01 - Guerrilla Games is likely a Twizzlers family 00:33:10 - The water levels in Horizon: Forbidden West 00:36:51 - The “stealth kelp” plot hole, and forcing the player to hide in the water00:39:02 - A bug is preventing Rusty from getting platinum, and blaming Aquaman 00:40:15 - Jane McGonigal’s books, games, and her story of resilience 00:43:10 - The game SuperBetter and how it can be used to improve resilience 00:46:45 - Ben’s “back in my day moment,” and a “shout out” for Ann00:48:03 - Rusty and Ben’s closing thoughts on resilience!
Sunday May 15, 2022
Sunday May 15, 2022
Dr. Tahnee is back in studio to provide her expert opinions on the subject of translation! Ben may not be a “Spoony Bard” but all of his base do belong to them… as they discuss the intricacies of communicating source language content successfully in a target language. What does translation success mean or even look like? Listen in to their discussions and find out! 00:00:20 - This week Ben and Tahnee are talking about the word translation!00:01:00 - “The Alchemist” is better translated to English than in the original Portuguese? 00:04:10 - Tahnee’s thoughts on two books she read that were translated from Japanese 00:07:05 - Ben thinks “District B-13” and “Shaolin Soccer” didn’t need language translations00:09:10 - How do you translate facial expressions?00:12:50 - Interpreting gestures and body language 00:15:00 - Tahnee’s Pro Tip: DON’T DO THE OK SIGN IN BRAZIL!00:16:55 - Movie titles can be more descriptive in other languages00:20:15 - American movie titles in Portuguese, and Ben’s favorite, “Eleven Men and a Secret”00:22:50 - “Translator traitor,” “correct” translations, and ways to translate fiction00:26:20 - Songs in other languages, and Tahnee asks “Are translators artists?”00:30:25 - Food for though on “eating word” translations00:32:35 - Ben thinks about math when he hears the word translation?00:35:20 - Tahnee has questions about video game translations and localizations 00:37:40 - Ben’s opinion on if translators for games need to have video game experience00:43:10 - All about the Twilight Zone episode “To Server Man”00:46:30 - Spoiler alert… “IT’S A COOKBOOK!”00:51:25 - Tahnee shares her video game research with Ben00:54:01 - Censorship, profanity, a bit from Netflix’s “The Pentaverate,” and the “Spoony Bard”00:57:00 - Ben explains to Tahnee how video games teach you how to play01:00:15 - Tahnee’s thoughts on the importance of translating documents01:05:10 - Game translation errors, and Tahnee’s expert assessment on “what went wrong”01:12:00 - The story or the “I AM ERROR” meme from “The Legend of Zelda 2” 01:14:40 - Mango gets vocal to end the show
Sunday May 08, 2022
Sunday May 08, 2022
This week Dr. Tahnee is back to discuss the word translation, but first we call up Aunt Norah! She has 3 questions that are perfect for our guest’s chosen profession / field of expertise. Discussion topics include: gender pronouns, learning languages, discriminatory tendencies in AI, and linguist centric humor 00:00:22 - Many hellos to / from Norah, and Ben’s “hot take” on media reviewers today00:02:07 - How are gender non-specific concepts being handled in gendered languages?00:07:23 - What happens in the brain when a child learns 2 languages simultaneously?00:09:15 - When does it become more difficult to learn new languages?00:11:39 - Ben has no book bag, Norah isn’t feeling well … both in German! 00:13:25 - When translating a book, who is best suited to “accurately” translate it?00:16:15 - Global awareness, translations, time, and changing customs00:19:23 - The word translation, and the different meanings in different cultures00:22:26 - The work of linguists: haves, has, peruse, Peru, and Peru00:24:43 - A discussion about how translation will work in the metaverse00:26:57 - The open AI artist DALL-E 2 is currently showing racial and gender biased output00:32:37 - The Twitter bot Tay and how she became EVIL!00:38:14 - Thinking about computational linguistics, artificial intelligence, and morphology00:43:21 - Norah tell a linguist joke, and we say goodbye
Sunday May 01, 2022
Sunday May 01, 2022
The one and only Aunt Norah is in town this week to see her favorite (?) nephew Ben, or perhaps it’s just to record a show about the word metaverse? Who’s to say? They do have differing views on what it is and what it could be; however, it’s a very interesting discussion from a generation X-er and a Baby Boomer just trying to make sense of it all. 00:00:21 - It’s a dry heat, and starting off the show with TWO questions from my Aunt!00:01:30 - “What makes NFTs bad for the environment?”00:04:05 - “What is augmented reality, and how is different from virtual reality?”00:06:30 - Norah starts the metaverse conversation00:08:30 - What does a successful metaverse look like?00:11:15 - Origin of the Snow Crash book title 00:13:35 - Was Norah listening? You decide!00:15:25 - E-Bay experiences, Beanie Babies, and Norah says, “on point!”00:19:00 - Auction houses for real art in the metaverse00:21:05 - Embedding chips in humans, DNA, and disengaging from VR00:27:00 - “Kids, don’t bring your guns to amusement parks,” the word meta, and Don Quixote 00:31:00 - In Hebrew meta means dead, and Ben says “the dog’s bollocks”00:33:30 - Second Life, and facial expressions, emotes, and “don’t F with me…”00:37:35 - Leveraging data mining in the metaverse, and Ben definitely wants those cat ears00:40:05 - Unwieldy hardware, and is a conflict-free metaverse possible?00:43:00 - Concerns about the development of the metaverse, and the evolution of bullying00:47:55 - Will the development of the metaverse make humanity exponentially worse?00:50:40 - Will the metaverse ever become the “real” world?00:53:20 - The “Benaverse,” game evolution, and will Norah try VR?00:57:10 - Ben’s concerns about crime, and Norah thinks the metaverse will alway be pretend01:00:00 - “AI means artificial intelligence,” be careful, and favorite nephew… question mark?
The 2VP Origin Story:
Two Vague originated from an idea I had for my eventual memoir. Games have been such a big part of my life that in theory, I could document most of my personal history using them as points on my timeline. The original concept was to begin with an arcade or video game, provide some background and facts about it, and then combine that with anecdotes / memories / life experiences. I could never quite justify committing it to the written word (not yet anyway), but that was the starting point.
As time went on, I began thinking about it with greater frequency, typically after watching, reading, or listening to video game related content. I wasn’t really interested in putting together game news program or a solo monologue type of show. Two people having an interesting, unique exchange of ideas was the premise I wanted to explore and develop. I thought it was important for me to come up with a name and logo to use as a conceptual anchor. I vaguely knew what I wanted, so decided the name would be “Too Vague”. My brother suggested that I use the number 2 instead and from that suggestion I quickly drew up a logo.
Shortly thereafter, my brother and I talked at length about the podcasts we enjoyed and why. Soon we moved on to discussing what “shape” my show would eventually take.
B: “It will be me and someone else… only 2 people.”
A: “Would it be an interview show?”
B: “Not exactly…”
A: “What is the show going to be about?”
B: “Video games… and something else.”
B: “I guess I could describe it as an in-depth conversation"
… and that is where our podcast journey began in 2021!